Here’s reason to celebrate: the American Buddhist nun (and frequent Shambhala Sun contributor!) Pema Chödrön turns 79 today.
Born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936 — read her life story, “Becoming Pema” — she’s now beloved as a teacher to us all. So what better way to honor her than to make a little time and absorb some of her wisdom? Here’s a selection of some of Pema’s classic Sun articles to get you started. (Or, you can always browse our special “Teacher Spotlight” page here on Lion’s Roar.) And don’t miss the September 2015 Shambhala Sun magazine, featuring a conversation with Pema and k.d. lang, as well as “What Is the Most Important Teaching?”, a new teaching by Pema.
Select Pema teachings:
- What to Do When the Going Gets Rough — Pema Chödrön on four ways to hold our minds steady and hearts open when facing difficult people or circumstances.
- You Can Do It! — Make your vow to help others real with this meditation teaching from Pema Chödrön.
- The Natural Warmth of the Heart — In the difficulties of your life, says Pema Chödrön, you will discover your natural love and warmth.
- Turn Your Thinking Upside-Down — We base our lives on seeking happiness and avoiding suffering, but the best thing we can do for ourselves—and for the planet—is to turn this whole way of thinking upside down. Pema Chödrön shows us Buddhism’s radical side.
- Stay With the Soft Spot of Bodhichitta — Pema Chödrön on how to awaken bodhichitta—enlightened heart and mind—the essence of all Buddhist practice.
- Looking Into Laziness — Rather than feeling discouraged by laziness, Pema tells us, we could get to know laziness profoundly. This very moment of laziness becomes our personal teacher.
- How We Get Hooked and How We Get Unhooked — Shenpa, Pema teaches us, is the urge, the hook, that triggers our habitual tendency to close down. We get hooked in that moment of tightening when we reach for relief. To get unhooked we begin by recognizing that moment of unease and learn to relax in that moment.
You’ll find plenty more teachings from Pema here. And to stay up-to-date with Pema’s activities — and share a birthday wish with her — follow the Pema Chödrön Foundation on Twitter. You might also visit the PCF online.